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Physics Research, a Search for God 

Timothy E. Toohig, SJ. 

31/2 MARCH 1999 


The Seminar is composed of a number of Jesuits appointed from their provinces 
in the United States. 

It concerns itself with topics pertaining to the spiritual doctrine and 
practice of Jesuits, especially United States Jesuits, and communicates the results 
to the members of the provinces through its publication, STUDIES IN THE SPIRI- 
TUALITY OF JESUITS. This is done in the spirit of Vatican II's recommendation 
that religious institutes recapture the original inspiration of their founders and 
adapt it to the circumstances of modern times. The Seminar welcomes reactions 
or comments in regard to the material that it publishes. 

The Seminar focuses its direct attention on the life and work of the 
Jesuits of the United States. The issues treated may be common also to Jesuits 
of other regions, to other priests, religious, and laity, to both men and women. 
Hence, the journal, while meant especially for American Jesuits, is not exclu- 
sively for them. Others who may find it helpful are cordially welcome to make 
use of it. 


Richard A. Blake, S.J., teaches film studies at Boston College (1998). 

Philip J. Chmielewski, S.J., teaches religious social ethics at Loyola University, 
Chicago (1998). 

Richard J. Clifford, S.J., teaches Old Testament at Weston Jesuit School of 
Theology, Cambridge, Mass. (1997). 

Gerald M. Fagin, S.J., teaches theology in the Institute for Ministry at Loyola 
University, New Orleans, La. (1997). 

Richard J. Hauser, S.J., teaches theology at Creighton University in Omaha and 
directs its graduate programs in theology, ministry, and spirituality (1998). 

John P. Langan, S.J., as holder of the Kennedy Chair of Christian Ethics, teach- 
es philosophy at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. (1996). 

Thomas M. Lucas, S.J., chairs the Department of Fine and Performing Arts and 
teaches therein at the University of San Francisco (1998). 

Edward T. Oakes, S.J., teaches theology at Regis University, Denver, Col. 

John W. Padberg, S.J., is chairman of the Seminar, editor of STUDIES, and direc- 
tor and editor at the Institute of Jesuit Sources (1986). 

Timothy E. Toohig, S.J., a high-energy physicist, does research and administra- 
tion in Washington and lives at Georgetown University (1997). 

James S. Torrens, S.J., is an associate editor of America, New York (1996). 

The opinions expressed in STUDIES are those of the individual authors thereof. Parenthe- 
ses designate year of entry as- a Seminar member. 

Copyright © 1999 and published by the Seminar on Jesuit Spirituality 
3700 West Pine Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108 
(Tel. 314-977-7257; Fax 314-977-7263) 

Physics Research 
A Search for God 

Timothy E. Toohig, S.J. 


31/2 • MARCH 1999 

Of all things . . . 

Did you know that 4,561 Jesuits and 73,759 non-Jesuits were educating 
more than 1,500,000 students (1,583,555, to be precise) around the world? Or that as 
part of that total there are in the United States 234,575 students and 1,233 Jesuit and 
28,721 non-Jesuit personnel in our schools? Lest the mind reel if I add even more 
numbers, I shall simply note that if you want to find out more, much more, about 
Jesuit education around the world, write to the Curia in Rome for the recent issue of 
Education SJ (1998, no. 2), put out by the International Center for Jesuit Education. 

"Jesuits and Jews" is a title that surely attracts attention, as well it might. 
The first international congress of Jesuits working in the field of Jewish-Christian 
relations was held just three months ago in Krakow, Poland. It included thirty-nine 
Jesuits from nine different assistances. Discussion focused on four main areas: (1) bib- 
lical themes of relevance for Jewish-Christian relations today; (2) historical questions 
of Christian attitudes towards Jews and the experience of the Holocaust in Jewish- 
Christian relations after the war; (3) the encounter with modern Jewish thought; and 
(4) interreligious concerns in the state of Israel. The congress met near Oswiecim, the 
site of the infamous death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau. More information? For 
this too contact the Curia in Rome and the organizer of the congress, Fr. Thomas 
Michel, S.J. 

Just a year ago I commented on my own participation in a meeting at 
Georgetown on "Human Rights versus Prejudice, Intolerance, and Demonization." 
One of its topics was the demonization of the Jews. I was invited to present a confer- 
ence on the demonization of the Jesuits. It was soberly instructive to reflect how 
often the same basic shibboleths, canards, and lies were used in the quite separate 
demonizations of both Jesuits and Jews. For a refresher on St. Ignatius and the Jews, 
see the essay with that same title that STUDIES published in September 1981 (vol. 13, 
no. 4). James Reites, S.J., of Santa Clara University, its author, was one of the partici- 
pants in the recent meeting in Krakow. 

In the last issue of STUDIES, I asked whether "present-day Jesuits still read 
books with any frequency" and made some remarks about the circumstances sur- 
rounding Fr. Jacques Dupuis's new book, A Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism. 
I then suggested that our readers might have something to say in "Letters to the 
Editor" on the subject. The result was several thoughtful letters, published in this 
present issue of STUDIES. 

Here I shall take note of only one new book, When in Doubt, Sing: Prayer 
in Daily Life (New York: Harper Collins, 1999; xxiv +422 pp.; $24.00). This marvel- 
ous work from the pen of Jane Redmont deserves and, I hope, will receive long 
reviews; but in these few opening pages of STUDIES, I can offer only brief observa- 
tions. For once, the publicity release that usually accompanies a book is right on the 
mark. The book is "a practical, insightful and highly readable guide." It is "anchored 


in the belief that our whole self prays— heart and mind, body and soul, spirit and 
flesh." Each chapter begins with a lovely and apposite epigraph and ends with several 
pages of suggested prayers, brief sample readings, and meditations drawn not only 
from the Roman Catholicism but from a great variety of other religious traditions. 
Ms. Redmont asks you "to forget what you've learned if it no longer works for you, 
but to remember the traditions and practices that nourish and sustain you." Much of 
the book arose from her own experience of prayer in the midst of a variegated life as 
at times theologian, Catholic lay minister, social activist, writer, chaplain at a univer- 
sity Catholic Center, executive director of a region of the National Conference of 
Christians and Jews, and a dialogue partner with Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The 
author writes against the background of a woman born of Jewish parents who 
became Unitarian and raised their daughter in that faith; she became a Catholic as a 
young adult. Much of this background is reflected in her book. The titles of some of 
the twenty-seven chapters give evidence of the author's down-to-earth practicality: 
"Beginning Where You Are, Not Where You Ought to Be"; "Praying with Anger"; 
"Pronouns, Poets, and the Desire for God: Language and Prayer"; "Writing as Medi- 
tation and Prayer"; and "When In Doubt, Sing: Music as Prayer." This is a book that 
delights, surprises, instructs, and helps the reader to a fresh and personal life of 

The Seminar on Jesuit Spirituality and the Institute of Jesuit Sources are 
separate entities, but both draw on the staff of the IJS. So it is good news that the 
Institute will soon have two new full-time Jesuit staff members and associate editors. 
They are Carl StarklofF, presently a professor of theology at Regis in Toronto, and 
Frank Brennan, former professor of English, graduate dean, academic vice-president, 
and, most recently, pastor of a parish. They will both be of immense help in the 
publication projects of the Institute, which include the publication of a translation of 
three of Robert de Nobili's works from Latin and Tamil into English, another of the 
Aldama commentaries on the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus, and what we hope 
will be a two-volume set— one containing some six hundred letters of Ignatius of 
Loyola and the other his major published works: the Spiritual Exercises, the Constitu- 
tions, the Autobiography, and the Spiritual Diary. I am both delighted at these new 
additions to the staff and remain thankful to John McCarthy, Martin O'Keefe, and 
Nicholas Pope (now in Rome) for all they have done on what has been a skeleton 
staff for better than a year. 

You may have noticed a change in the title that precedes these notes. It is 
no longer "For your information. ..." For some time I have been looking for a 
name more descriptive of these ruminations. Thanks to Jean Schlueter, one of our 
readers, who suggested the phrase "Of all things ..." (which was enthusiastically 
seconded by members of the staff here), I now have a title that is both descriptive 
and maybe, in certain cases when our readers see the comments that follow it, ex- 

John W. Padberg, SJ. 



A Euphoric Experience 1 

My Credentials 3 

Physics in Another Dimension 5 

The Enlightenment Muddies the Waters 7 

A New Worldview and New Worlds of Physics 9 

The Beginnings of Modern Physics 9 

The Modern Period 13 

Why Do Physicists . . . ? 13 

Einstein 15 

Bohr 17 

Physics Unchained 19 

The Physicists' Deeper Quest 20 

The Christian Vision 24 

So, Where Does It Lead Me? 25 


Physics Research, a Search for God 

A Euphoric Experience 

The basic thesis I would like to explore here is that the pursuit of 
physics is, at root, a spiritual endeavor. Viewed from the Christian tradition, 
physics research is, as I would assert, an intuitive search for God in the sense 
that Karl Rahner writes about an anonymous knowledge of God. 1 This 
assertion is based on my experience of over thirty years as a high-energy 
physicist involved in research in physics while pursuing a parallel career in 
spirituality within the Jesuit tradition. My research has been nourished by 
interaction with my colleagues in physics, as well as by an abiding interest 
in the history of physics. 

When I was a graduate student at the Johns Hopkins University, 
my doctoral dissertation involved the discovery of a new fundamental 
particle of matter, the 77 meson. 2 In those prequark days, we thought it to be 
an elementary particle, one of the ultimate building blocks of matter. The 
euphoria I sensed in that moment of discovery was like what one experi- 
ences in moments of consolation in a retreat. In a sense, what follows is an 
application of Ignatian discernment of spirits to that moment and to similar 
moments in my experience and in the reported experiences of others engaged 
in the same search. On the occasion of Max Planck's sixtieth birthday, 
Albert Einstein testified that such experiences are an essential part of physics 

Karl Rahner, Foundations of Christian Faith (New York: Crossroad, 1993), 21. 

Meson: A subnuclear particle constituted by a quark (see below) and an 
antiquark (for example, 7T = "up" quark [v] + anti-down quark [dbar]. 7r = udbar). 

Timothy E. Toohig, S.J., is a research professor of physics at Boston 
College on assignment to the U.S. Department of Energy as program manager for 
U.S. involvement in the large Hadron Collider at Geneva in Switzerland. He resides 
at the Jesuit community at Georgetown University, Box 571200, Washington, DC 


2 •$• Timothy E. Toohig, SJ. 

The longing to behold . . . pre-established harmony is the source of the 
inexhaustible persistence and patience with which we see Planck devoting 
himself to the most general problems of our science without letting himself 
be deflected by goals which are more profitable and easier to achieve. I have 
often heard that colleagues would like to attribute this attitude to excep- 
tional will power and discipline; I believe entirely wrongly so. The emo- 
tional state that enables such achievements is similar to that of the religious 
person or the person in love; the daily pursuit does not originate from a 
design or program but from a direct need. 3 

In my experience, the physicists recognized as leaders of the field are 
characterized by a driving curiosity, approaching the obsessive, for a deeper 
understanding of the mystery of our universe. Correlative to this search for 
an understanding of the universe is a sense of excitement and of wonder, of 
consolation in moments of insight. Victor Weisskopf of MIT captures this 
experience in the titles of several of his books: Knowledge and Wonder, The 
Privilege of Being a Physicist, and The Joy of Insight, his autobiography. In 
these I hear an echo of St. Ignatius's account of his experience at Manresa: 
"Once, the manner in which God had created the world was presented to 
his understanding with great spiritual joy." 4 

Probably not coincidentally, leading physicists such as Weisskopf 
are also known for a dedication to human rights, to peaceful relations among 
peoples, and, particularly during the Cold War, to nuclear disarmament. 5 
The examples that come to mind are of the human-rights activism of Andrei 
Sakharov in the Soviet Union, the formation of the Federation of American 
Scientists by the Los Alamos physicists in the aftermath of Hiroshima and 
Nagasaki, and the participation by many leading physicists in the Pugwash 
Conferences at Pugwash, Nova Scotia, which provided a forum for East- 
West dialogue during the Cold War period. 

3 Abraham Pais, "Subtle Is the Lord": The Science and Life of Albert Einstein 
(Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1982), 26. 

4 Ignatius of Loyola, St., A Pilgrim's Testament: The Memoirs of Saint Ignatius of 
Loyola As Transcribed by Luis Goncalvez da Camara, trans. Parmananda R. Divarkar (Saint 
Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1995), 40. 

5 Abraham Pais, Me/5 Bohr's Times: In Physics, Philosophy, and Polity (Oxford: 
Clarendon Press, 1991), 517. 

Physics Research, a Search for God •!• 3 

My Credentials 

Since 1947, when I entered Boston College, both our understanding 
of the basic constitution of matter and the conceptual framework in which 
we view the material universe have changed completely. We began that 
period with protons, neutrons, electrons (and their antimatter counterparts, 
positrons), plus a few odd particles found in the cosmic rays. 6 These consti- 
tuted our knowledge of the building blocks of nature. The conceptual 
framework for research in elementary-particle physics was a microscopic 
probing for the ultimate constituents of matter and analysis of the forces 
that bound them together. The universe was probably "Steady State," 
eternally unchanging. 

Today we know that most of what we thought were elementary 
particles are composite structures constituted from three families of pointlike 
particles, each family consisting of two quarks and two leptons. 7 We have a 
comprehensive theory, the Standard Model that accounts for their interac- 
tions and explains how they combine to form the whole zoo of subnuclear 
particles, of nuclei, and of atoms and molecules. 8 Since 1965, elementary- 
particle physics has turned its gaze outward to become a theory of the entire 
universe, where these families of elementary particles can be related by a 

Proton: A positively charged subnuclear particle constituted by three quarks, 
two "up" and one "down" (uud). It is the lightest of the baryons. 

Neutron: A neutral (uncharged) baryon which, together with the proton, 
constitutes the nucleus of a chemical element. The neutron is constituted by one "up" and 
two "down" quarks (udd). 

Quark: A pointlike, fractionally charged subnuclear particle that is the source 
of the strong (nuclear) force. There are three pairs of quarks: up - down, charmed - 
strange, bottom - top. Together with three pairs of leptons— electron - electron neutrino, 
muon - muon neutrino, tau - tau neutrino— they constitute all matter in the universe. All 
ordinary matter is composed of up and down quarks, electrons, and electron neutrinos. 
The other two pairs of quarks and leptons are only found in very-high-energy collisions or 
in the initial "Big Bang" at the beginning of the universe. Quarks are never found free in 
nature. They are always bound together to form hadrons— either baryons (quarks) or 
mesons (quark and antiquark). 

Lepton: A pointlike, integrally charged subnuclear particle that is the source of 
the electroweak (electromagnetic plus weak) force. There are three pairs of leptons (see 
quark, above). 

Standard Model: A model for the elementary particles and their interactions 
that unifies the strong, weak, and electromagnetic forces, but not gravity. According to the 
Standard Model, the fundamental constituents of matter consist of three families of quarks 
and leptons. The quarks and leptons interact through the electroweak (electricity plus 
magnetism and radioactivity) force, while the quarks alone feel the strong (nuclear) force. 

4 * Timothy E. Toohig, SJ. 

comprehensive theory to the origin and evolution of the universe in the "Big 

At Johns Hopkins in the late fifties and early sixties, at Berkeley in 
the early and middle sixties, at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in the 
late sixties, at Fermilab in the seventies and early eighties, and at the Super- 
conducting Supercollider (SSC) from the mid eighties through the early 
nineties, I was privileged to be a participant and involved spectator in that 
remarkable development. 9 Berkeley, Brookhaven, Fermilab, and the SSC (if it 
had been completed) had the highest-energy-particle accelerators in the 
periods noted and so were successively the frontier facilities for high-energy 
physics. 10 

In the same time frame, society, and with it the Church, was 
undergoing fundamental changes in orientation and understanding. In the 
Church this change was manifested, among other ways, in a new openness 
to Scripture and a renewal in liturgical understanding and practice. These 
developments, in turn, led to a renewed appreciation and understanding of 
prayer and spirituality and to concomitant developments in theology. The 
Society of Jesus responded to these developments with, among other activi- 
ties, a renewal of the theory and practice of the Spiritual Exercises of St. 
Ignatius of Loyola, who was the founder of the Society. 11 

After completing my degree in physics at Hopkins in 1962, I 
resumed my preparation for the priesthood and began the requisite four 
years of studies in theology at Woodstock College near Baltimore, Maryland. 
The proximity of Woodstock to Baltimore allowed me to continue to 
involve myself in physics at Johns Hopkins during my years of theological 
training. Some twenty-two of the students of theology at Woodstock held 
advanced degrees in mathematics and the natural sciences. In order to remain 
scientifically alive, we formed a research institute at Woodstock (RINS) with 
support from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and 
the National Science Foundation (NSF). Such continued involvement in the 

9 SSC (Superconducting SuperCollider): A particle accelerator (synchrotron), 
fifty-four miles in circumference, that was under construction around Waxahachie, Texas, 
until funding was canceled in 1994. The accelerator was designed with a beam energy of 20 
TeV (trillion electron volts) to investigate the region of collision energy where theory 
indicates that a new fundamental understanding of the universe will be revealed. 

10 Particle accelerator: A device for accelerating elementary particles, usually 
protons or electrons, to high energies for experimentation or for medical or industrial 
applications. The most familiar of these are cyclotrons and linear accelerators. 

11 George E. Ganss, S.J., The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius (St. Louis: The 
Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1992). 

Physics Research, a Search for God •!• 5 

area of physics in the context of theological studies encouraged us to ponder 
the spiritual dimension of that science. 

Woodstock at that time, the period of the Second Vatican Council, 
had a remarkable faculty, some of whom were at the forefront of develop- 
ments in the Church and the Society. Many of them, men such as John 
Courtney Murray and Gustave Weigel, were participants in the council as 
periti or observers. Others, such as Walter Burghardt and Joseph Fitzmyer, 
were leaders in the renewal of theology, homiletics, and Scripture. William 
Peters, one of the primary movers in the recovery of the Spiritual Exercises, 
directed a retreat incorporating his new insights. 12 Among our professors as 
well was David Stanley, one of the pioneers in recovering the use of Scrip- 
ture with the Spiritual Exercises. 13 

During a pastoral year after completing theological studies, embold- 
ened by youth and fresh from the experience of the full, thirty-day Spiritual 
Exercises, I began to give di- 
rected retreats based on the ^ —— mmmmm ~ mmmmm "— " ^ ' 
renewed understanding of the / see k to understand from Within 

Exercises. From this begin- my comm it me nt as a Christian 

ning and throughout my how the pursuit of physics relates 

whole career, thanks to the ■ 

c r ~, r tt i r to that commitment. 

Sisters or Charity or Halifax 

and the Religious of the Cen- _^ _ _. ____^ _ 
acle, I was able to remain in- 
volved in spiritual direction and retreat work while pursuing my career as a 
physicist. In 1993 Congress canceled the SSC project. By the spring of 1994 I 
had completed my obligations to the project and severed my connection. 
Through the generosity of the Jesuit Institute at Boston College, I was 
provided with the time and opportunity to reflect more deeply on the 
connection between these two pursuits of mine, physics research and 

Physics in Another Dimension 

I would like to present this topic in two stages. First, I would like 
to explore the development of physics: How does it proceed, and what are 
the motivations and rewards of those who devote their time to it? What 

William A. M. Peters, The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius: Exposition and 
Interpretation (Jersey City: The Program to Adapt the Spiritual Exercises, 1968). 

David M. Stanley, A Modern Scriptural Approach to the Spiritual Exercises (St. 
Louis: The Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1971). 

6 •*» Timothy E. Toohig, SJ. 

have physicists done and why do they do it? In the second stage, I would 
like to relate the results of the first stage to spirituality as understood by a 
committed Christian today. In a sense, this is an intramural study; I do not 
pretend to stand outside my commitment as a believing Christian, but rather 
to seek to understand from within that commitment how the pursuit of 
physics relates to my Christian commitment. In another sense, this is 
extramural in that I am, at the same time, giving an account of my commitment 
to physics even to those who may not share my Christian commitment. 

A question might be raised. "Why physics?" In other words, as 
regards its connection with spirituality, is physics different from mathemat- 
ics, from other sciences, or from the arts? If physics is a spiritual pursuit, as I 
believe and will attempt to elucidate, then why are not all of these fields of 
endeavor spiritual pursuits? My first answer is "I don't know." My experi- 
ence is of physics. That being said, I believe that there is something different 
about physics, at least at its boundaries. The boundaries of physics today 
would be exemplified by high-energy physics, the area of physics that seeks 
to understand the ultimate structure of matter, its elementary constituents, 
and the forces that bind them. 14 The particle physicist confronted with the 
most fundamental questions concerning matter probably has a higher 
probability of facing the ultimate questions of existence. This impression 
that physics is different from other fields is reinforced by developments in 
the aftermath of the widespread acceptance, after 1965, of the "Big Bang" 
theory of the origin of the universe. Subsequent to that development, we 
came to realize that research in high-energy physics is tantamount to explor- 
ing the states of matter in the very earliest moments of the evolution of the 
universe. Experiments with the large-particle accelerators that are the pri- 
mary tools of the high-energy physicist amount to reconstruction of states of 
matter close to the time of the Big Bang. This realization tended to fuse 
high-energy physics with cosmology. Along with cosmology, it seeks to 
understand the origins and ultimate fate of the universe itself. In a way that 
other fields do not, it searches for ultimate understanding. In the words of 

14 For example, "We particle physicists share with all physicists the goal of 
explaining the world. We differ only by asking ever more basic questions. Like young 
children who relentlessly insist, Why?, particle physicists ask, Why is there light? Why are 
electrons light and protons heavy? Why are there electrons or protons, anyway?" (R. N. 
Cahn, in Physics Today 51, no. 11 [November 1998]: 57). 

PIrysics Research, a Search for God •& 7 

Stephen Hawking, "[OJur goal is a complete understanding of the events 
around us, and of our own existence." 15 

The Enlightenment Muddies the Waters 

An unfortunate legacy of the Enlightenment, now seemingly 
embedded in our Western culture, is the belief that the process of discovery 
in physics proceeds in a purely rationalistic manner. In this view, physics 
supposedly proceeds by deduction from first principles or by logical induc- 
tion from experimental data. The roots of this belief may be found in the 
works of Rene Descartes (1596-1650) and Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727). 
Their view of physics was colored for both men, in contrary ways, by 
theological considerations, by a search for certitude, by a desire to validate 
the existence of God in the 
face of a perceived atheism. 16 

Descartes used a Universal High-energy physics, along with cosmol- 

Mathematics to validate the ogy, seeks to understand the origins and 

existence of the material ultimate fate of the universe itself. 

world by deduction from the 
intuited existence of God. 17 
Newton began with the real 

world and, using a Universal Mechanics, sought to validate the existence of 
God by logical induction. For both, certitude about the existence of God 
was linked with certitude about the existence of the real world. Paradoxi- 
cally, their great scientific contributions were not made by logical inference 
from the science of their day, but by changing the very approach to science, 
by creative insights that fundamentally modified the science. For Descartes, 
an example of a creative insight would be the concept of a conservation law, 
on which much of modern physics is built; 18 for Newton, an example would 
be the concept of a force, without which there would be no modern physics. 

Mathematics provided Descartes with a method by which certitude 
could be attained. Since, for Descartes, all science must be certain and since 

Stephen W. Hawking, A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Dark 
Holes (Toronto and New York: Bantam Books, 1988), 169. 

Michael J. Buckley, At the Origins of Modern Atheism (New Haven and 
London: Yale University Press, 1987), chaps. 1 and 2. 

17 Stephen Gaukroger, Descartes: An Intellectual Biography (Oxford: Clarendon 
Press, 1995), 244. 

Conservation law: A statement that a given quantity remains invariant 
independently of the details of an event: for example, by the law of conservation of 
energy, the total energy, including the mass-energy (E = mc 2 ), of the products of the decay 
of a radioactive nucleus must add up to the energy of the original nucleus. 

8 + Timothy E. Toohig, SJ. 

the only science that measured up to this stringent requirement is mathemat- 
ics, then it was critically necessary to abstract and universalize the mathemat- 
ical method. It was necessary to create a Universal Mathematics by which to 
investigate whatever a human being can come to know. The Universal 
Mathematics would be concerned with objects that are simple and can be 
grasped by intuition. It would then move from these simplicities into their 
implications by a carefully linked series of deductions. This is the "Cartesian 
method. " 

Richard Feynman is closer to the reality of how physics proceeds 
when he says, "[T]o solve any problem that has never been solved before, 
you have to leave the door to the unknown ajar. You have to permit the 
possibility that you do not have it exactly right." 19 Uncertainty, according to 
Feynman, is to be welcomed as the possibility of a new potential for human 
beings. The history of physics bears out Feynman's thesis. It is precisely in 
these areas of uncertainty that the breakthroughs in physics take place. The 
enormous effort and expense involved in designing, building, and exploiting 
a succession of ever-more-powerful particle accelerators is justified by the 
need to explore these areas of uncertainty if we are to understand our 
universe. Pace Descartes and Newton, we do not and cannot proceed just by 
deduction or induction from what we already know. 

As an illustration, I recall working at Berkeley in the mid sixties on 
what was then called "The 200 BeV Project," which ultimately led to the 
creation of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab). (Later 
convention has changed BeV to GeV, for billion electron volts.) The planned 
energy of the machine was based on the perceived need to go beyond the 
energy of the existing most powerful particle accelerators, which were 
operating at 25 to 30 GeV, in order to make progress in understanding the 
structure of matter. Following a rule of thumb that a factor of ten above the 
available energies would be required to find new physics, the energy for the 
new facility was to be in the 200 to 300 GeV range. This dependence on 
faith in a rule of thumb was not a comfortable stance for physicists, so a 
working group of leading theoretical physicists was convened to give us a 
more substantive reason for building the machine. After careful consider- 
ation, these experts gave it as their opinion that the machine was not 
necessary, since it would only verify their theories; they were already 
comfortable with their conclusions and with the deductions and inferences 
they had reached by using data from the existing machines. However, there 

19 Richard P. Feynman, The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen Scientist 
(Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1998), 27. 

Physics Research, a Search for God •$• 9 

were too many unresolved questions that lay beyond the capabilities of 
present facilities for us to accept this conclusion. So we put aside their advice 
and went ahead to build Fermilab, which now operates at 1 TeV (trillion 
electron volts). The theories that then prevailed have long since been 
discarded, and a far richer, far simpler understanding of the universe has 

A New Worldview and New Worlds of Physics 

We can conveniently divide the progress of physics between an 
early period, roughly the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, when theo- 
logical concerns dominated discussions, and a modern period, beginning with 
the late nineteenth century, when physics was largely unencumbered by 
theological considerations. The early period roughly coincided with the great 
period of geographical exploration and expansion, as well as of religious 
upheavals in the West and missionary expansion in the newly opened areas 
of the world. The modern period roughly begins with the discovery of X-rays 
and the aftermath of the debates on Darwinian evolution. 

The Beginnings of Modern Physics 

We might select Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) as an appropriate 
starting point in our examination of the progress of physics and the relation- 
ship between that progress and spirituality. In Galileo's lifetime, and largely 
due to his work, a new era in science was initiated. Prior to Galileo, the 
general principles that guided physics were philosophical: in the prevailing 
Aristotelian approach, nature was viewed from the top down. From the 
viewpoint of philosophy, humankind was the center of the universe, so it 
followed that the demesne of humankind, the earth, must be the center of 
the physical universe. In the Dialogue concerning the Two Major Systems of the 
World, Galileo took exception to the second of these statements by asserting 
that earth is not the center of the physical universe; 20 rather, the earth moves 
in an orbit around the sun. In asserting this he was denying, by implication, 
that humankind is the center of the universe. Paradoxically, the work in 
which he subverted the very basis of the prevailing pre-Copernican physics, 
his Discourses and Mathematical Proofs concerning Two New Sciences, created 
no stir. 21 Galileo's inspiration in the Two New Sciences was twofold. He 

Galileo Galilei, Dialogue concerning the Two Chief World Systems (Berkeley and 
Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1970). 

Galileo Galilei, Discourses and Mathematical Proofs concerning Two New 
Sciences, trans. Henry Crew and Alfonso de Salvio, intro. Antonio Favaro (New York: 

10 * Timothy E. Toohig, S.J. 

based his physics on observing how things behave under controlled condi- 
tions, and then expressed that behavior by a mathematical description that 
was susceptible to being tested against those observations. This seminal work 
was published when he was in his seventies, held under a form of house 
arrest. His successful description of projectile motion, including the acceler- 
ated motion due to gravity, clinched the case for his new approach over 
against the prevailing Aristotelian physics, which could only regard acceler- 
ated motion as a conundrum. 

The prevailing Aristotelian approach to physics depended upon 
observation. Aristotle filled notebooks with observations of nature. What 
differs in Galileo's approach is the role of the observer. For Galileo, the 
observer was an active participant; he performed his observations under 
controlled conditions that allowed him to isolate the essential principles of 
the phenomenon under study. True to his Aristotelian roots, Galileo relied 
on observations; his contribution was a radical change in the conceptual 
approach to dealing with those observations. Through a leap of intuition, 
Galileo was able to arrive at a simplification that gave greater insight into 
the phenomenon involved and allowed it to be analyzed and reduced to a 
mathematical expression. How did he arrive at such a radical shift in con- 
cept? We don't know. What drove him to pursue these studies, as well as 
the studies of planetary motion? It would appear that he was driven by a 
burning curiosity, a consuming desire to decipher the mystery of the universe. 

Descartes built on the work of Galileo to effect a further simplifica- 
tion in the understanding of the motion of bodies. In the Two Sciences, 
Galileo dealt with the motion of individual objects, of projectiles. Descartes 

introduced a new concept, the notion of 
^^^^^^^^~^^™— "^^^~ the quantity of motion, what we know as 

. momentum, as the fundamental concept 

The Croatian Jesuit Roger for ana i yzing the interactions of mechani- 
Boscovich produced the cal ob j ects Ut iii z i ng tri i s concept, Des- 

Jirst coherent description cartes introduced the notion of a conserva- 

of an atomic theory. tion law, in this case the conservation of 

momentum. Applied to a complicated situ- 
^^^^^— — — — ^^^— ation in which things are constantly chang- 
ing, a conservation law is an assertion that 
some simple quantity remains the same. Today conservation laws are at the 
heart of our understanding of physics. 

Descartes had no way to predict the transfer of motion from one 
body to another. Newton rectified this lack by treating the transfer as a 

Dover Publications, c. 1914). 

Physics Research, a Search for God •!• 11 

continuous flow from one body to the other. He did this by formalizing a 
concept of force. Using this concept, he was then able to describe the 
transfer of momentum between bodies as a continuous flow and so was able 
to predict this transfer mathematically. Newton's contribution is embodied 
in the First, Second, and Third Laws of Motion, found in the Philosophise 
naturalis principia mathematica, commonly known as the Principia. 22 Once a 
force law is known, every detail of the motion can be predicted in Newto- 
nian mechanics; everything can be calculated from first principles. The 
motions of the planets could not only be described but also predicted and 
their masses determined from the force laws. The laws that Newton formu- 
lated led to a connection, for the first time, of extraterrestrial and terrestrial 
bodies; the moon obeyed the same gravity that caused the apple to fall. The 
cosmos was no longer something mysterious, but obeyed the same laws as 
earthly bodies. The universe is just a great deterministic, mechanical system. 
For Newton this great system led inexorably back to the author of the 
system, to God. 

Newton's mechanics did not account for how the force of gravity 
could reach out from one body to another. This was the missing element of 
the classical theory. There was no underlying mechanism to explain the 
action at a distance that seemed to be required. The solution to this came 
not from mechanics but from electricity and magnetism. The Croatian Jesuit 
Roger Boscovich (1711-87) had 

postulated, by extrapolation ^^^^^^^^^^^^~^^^^^^^^^^^^™ 
from Newton's concept of The cosmos was no longer something 

force, that forces are the basic mysterious, but obeyed the same laws 
physical realities. 23 He held, as earthly bodies. 

presciently, that bodies could 

not be composed of continu- ^— — — — ^ ^^^— ^^^— 
ous matter, but of countless 

"pointlike" structures. The ultimate elements of matter are indivisible points, 
which are centers of force, a force that varies with the distance to other 
points. This is the first coherent description of an atomic theory. 

Michael Faraday (1791-1867), taking up this notion, postulated that 
forces act by filling the space around objects with what he called a field, 
which he visualized as lines of force. There is no longer a need for action at a 
distance; bodies act on one another through the force fields surrounding 

Sir Isaac Newton, Philosophise principia mathematica, 2 vols. (Berkeley, Los 
Angeles, London: University of California Press, 1962). 

Joseph MacDonnell, S.J., Jesuit Geometers: A Study of Fifty -Six Prominent Jesuit 
Geometers . . . (St. Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1989). 

12 •$• Timothy E. Toohig, SJ. 

them. He went on to demonstrate that a changing electrical field generates a 
magnetic field and vice versa, so the two might sensibly be considered as 
different forms of a single field, the electromagnetic field. James Clerk 
Maxwell (1831-79), following Faraday, developed the equations of the 
electromagnetic field which bear his name, Maxwell's equations. In his 
Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism (1873), he demonstrated that electricity, 
magnetism, and light are different manifestations of the same phenomena. 24 
He further demonstrated from the conservation laws for energy and momen- 
tum that the electromagnetic field is real and not a mathematical convenience. 
Fields possess energy and momentum and can exist independently of their 
sources. These developments brought to a close the development of classical 
physics and opened the way for a new worldview. 

Einstein's preface to the 1931 edition of Newton's Opticks gives us 
an insight into the motivation of the architects of this new worldview and 
probably reveals as much about Einstein's motivation in physics as about 

Fortunate Newton, happy childhood of science! . . . the conceptions which 
he used to reduce the material of experience to order seemed to flow 
spontaneously from experience itself, from the beautiful experiments which 
he ranged in order like playthings and describes with an affectionate wealth 
of detail. ... his joy in creation and his minute precision are evident in 
every word and in every figure. 25 

Descartes and Newton, while laying the foundations for physics, had 
entangled their physics with theology. The theologians had abandoned the 
question of the existence of God, relegating it to the philosophers. The 
emerging physics took on the task of philosophy. Descartes had begun with 
ideas and established God as the guarantor of nature. Newton had begun 
with the phenomena of nature and established God as a force by which the 
phenomena were structured so that they could interact. By an inexorable 
process of rationalistic deduction (Descartes) or induction (Newton), physics 
served as natural theology. In the process of trying to establish the existence 
of God through physics, they distorted physics by eliminating the role of 
intuition and discovery from the understanding of physics. Ironically, the 
basis of both approaches was intuition. By the end of the eighteenth cen- 
tury, the Enlightenment had turned these arguments on their heads and 
eliminated the God question from physics. 

24 James Clerk Maxwell, A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, 2 vols. (New 
York: Dover Publications, 1954). 

25 Sir Isaac Newton, Opticks (New York: Dover Publications, 1979). 

Physics Researchy a Search for God <b 13 

The idea that theology and physics are two distinct branches of knowledge 
thus took, from its first germination in Copernicus till its final promulga- 
tion by Lagrange, almost two centuries to attain clearness in the minds of 
investigators. Whether the lead belongs to Laplace or to Lagrange, there was 
no doubt that the physical scientists had grown weary of theological 
conflict and physicotheology. After the work of Diderot and d'Holbach, 
the theological explanation had become a hypothesis and not a very useful 
one at that. It was better to discard the issues that gave it birth; better for 
physics, in concern for its own integrity, to cut it loose. 26 

The Modern Period 

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, nagging problems had 
emerged with respect to the neat, deterministic world picture provided by 
classical Newtonian physics— the problem of relative motion and simultane- 
ity, of the blackbody radia- 
tion spectrum, of the photo- mmmm ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ mm ^ l ^^^^^^^^^ 
electric effect, of the atomic 

ctnw , riiro r „,„,,^27 pl„ • c Descartes and Newton, while laying 

structure 01 matter, rnysics ' J d 

was now free to investigate the foundations for physics, had en- 

these problems without the tangled their physics with theology. 

encumbrance of theology. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 
Newtonian mechanics gave 

way to relativistic mechanics, the wave theory of light gave way to wave- 
particle duality, quantum theory was born, and the determinism of classical 
physics gave way to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. A new era was born. 
Rather than pursue all of these developments in detail, I would like to 
examine the accomplishments and motivations of two of the chief protago- 
nists in these developments: Albert Einstein (1879-1955) and Niels Bohr 

Why Do Physicists . . . ? 

Einstein and Bohr are interesting in our context for their apparently 
contrasting positions towards spiritual reality, towards religion, towards 
God. Einstein was a Jew who was very conscious of and "owned" his 

26 Buckley, At the Origins, 326. 

Blackbody radiation: The spectrum of radiation emitted by a perfectly black 
body when heated. This spectrum is a function of the temperature of the black body, 
being dominantly red at lower temperatures, like a glowing coal, and becoming 
dominantly blue at higher temperatures. 

14 + Timothy E. Toohig, SJ. 

Jewishness and was positive in regard to religion. Abraham Pais, an intimate 
of Einstein, in a prefatory passage to his biography of Einstein, quotes the 
physicist as saying that u [s]cience without religion is lame, religion without 
science is blind." 28 Pais goes on to note Einstein's personal creed: "A reli- 
gious person is devout in the sense that he has no doubt of the significance 
of those super-personal objects and goals which neither require nor are 
capable of rational foundation" (319). He writes further that Einstein's 

was not a life of prayer and worship. Yet he lived by a deep faith— a faith 
not capable of rational foundation— that there are laws of Nature to be 
discovered. His lifelong pursuit was to discover them. His realism and his 
optimism are illuminated by his remark: "Subtle is the Lord, but malicious 
He is not." When asked by a colleague what he meant by that, he replied: 
"Nature hides her secret because of her essential loftiness, but not by means 
of ruse." 29 

Bohr, on the other hand, professed himself completely indifferent to 
religion. Before his marriage he formally resigned his membership in the 
Lutheran church, the state church of Denmark. Pais, also the biographer of 
Bohr, has given us the recollections of Margrethe Bohr, Niels's wife, about 
Bohr's responses to religion during his youth: 

There was a period of about a year . . . [he was] 14 or 15 or something like 
that . . . where he took it very seriously; he got taken by it. Then it 

suddenly went [sic] all over. It was nothing 
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ for him. Then he went to his father, who 

had left him quite alone in this regard, and 

Albert Einstein writes that said to nim > " J cannot understand how l 

. A t t could be so taken by all this; it means 

invention is not the prod- , . , »Tj l 

. F nothing whatsoever to me. And then his 

uct of logical thought, father didn > t say anytning . he just smi i ed . 

even though the final And then Niels says, "[A]nd this smile has 

product is tied to a logical taught me so much which I never forgot." 
Structure. S° they never exerted any influence but let 

him do what he liked. . . . And since then 
■■■^ _ — lt naQ no hiterest for him. 30 

We are fascinated by this contrast 
in orientation towards spiritual reality in two brilliant individuals who are 
absorbed in the same search for the ultimate understanding of reality. Pais, 

28 Pais, "Subtle Is the Lord," 319. 

29 Ibid, prefatory citation. 


Pais, Niels Bohr's Times, 134. 

Physics Research, a Search for God •!• 15 

describing an episode with Bohr long after Einstein's death, describes the 
remarkable synergism between the two: 

Bohr would relive the struggles that it took before the content of quantum 
mechanics was understood and accepted. . . . This, I am convinced, was 
Bohr's inexhaustible source of identity. Einstein appeared forever as his 
leading spiritual partner — even after the latter's death he would argue with 
him as if Einstein were still alive. 31 

What is the motivation, the common vision that harnesses them? Clearly it 
is not religion, or lack of religion. 

• Einstein 

Einstein burst onto the physics scene in 1905 with three major 
theoretical contributions— on the quantum nature of light, on special relativ- 
ity, and on Brownian motion. 32 Each of these major breakthroughs had 
antecedents in the work of other investigators— the quantum nature of light 
in the work of Planck on blackbody radiation, the relative motion of inertial 
systems in that of Lorenz and Michelson, and the Brownian motion in the 
work of Stokes and others on Avogadro's number. 33 In Einstein's hands the 
Brownian motion gave direct evidence of the reality of molecules, of the 
atomic structure of matter. In each case Einstein brought new fundamental 
conceptual insights to the problem. Pais notes, relative to the publication on 
Brownian motion, that 

[i]t bristles with new ideas: particles in suspension behave like molecules in 
solution; there is a relation between diffusion and viscosity; the mean 
square displacement of the particles can be related to the diffusion coeffi- 
cient. The final conclusion, that Avogadro's number can essentially be 
determined from observations with an ordinary microscope, never fails to 
cause a moment of astonishment even if one has read the paper before and 
therefore knows the punch line. 34 

What was it that Einstein was seeking? What drove him to a life of 
such singular dedication and productivity? We get some insight from his 
own testimony as witnessed in his own writings and in Pais's biography. In 
his late sixties he singled out one particular experience from the earliest 
period of his life and described how it set him on his course: 

31 Ibid., 8. 

Brownian motion: The random motion of particles suspended in a solution. 

Avogadro's number: The number of molecules in a gram-mole of a substance. 
34 Pais, "Subtle Is the Lord/' 56. 

16 * Timothy E. Toohig, SJ. 

T experienced a miracle ... as a child of four or five when my father 
showed me a compass.' It excited him so much that he 'trembled and grew 
cold.' He thought that there had to be something behind objects that lay 
deeply hidden. . . . 'The development of [our] world of thought is in a 
certain sense a flight away from the miraculous.' (37) 

A later insight appears in his address to Planck, cited above, on the occasion 
of Planck's sixtieth birthday: "The emotional state that enables such achieve- 
ments is similar to that of the religious person or the person in love; the 
daily pursuit does not originate from a design or program but from a direct 
need" (26). 

In his final autobiographical note, Einstein discusses how he arrived 
at the fundamental insight into special relativity, one of the truly seminal 
insights of physics and one that has also had profound philosophical conse- 
quences. He was driven to the special theory mostly by aesthetic arguments, 
that is, arguments of simplicity. Sometime between October 1895 and the 
early fall of 1896, the question came to him: "If one runs after a light wave 
with [a velocity equal to the] light velocity, then one would encounter a 
time-independent wave field. However, something like that does not seem to 
exist!" (131). Einstein says that this was the first juvenile thought experiment 
that has to do with the special theory of relativity. He adds: "Invention is 
not the product of logical thought, even though the final product is tied to a 
logical structure" (131, emphasis added). 

Elsewhere he was more explicit in asserting, pace Newton, the 
creative nature of the scientific process. 

We now know that science cannot grow out of empiricism alone, that in 
the constructions of science we need to use free invention which only a 
posteriori can be confronted with experience as to its usefulness. This fact could 
elude earlier generations, to whom theoretical creation seemed to grow 
inductively out of empiricism without the creative influence of a free 
construction of concepts. The more primitive the status of science is, the 
more readily can the scientist live under the illusion that he is a pure 
empiricist. In the nineteenth century, many still believed that Newton's 
fundamental rule "Hypotheses non fingo" should underlie all healthy 
natural science. 35 

Continuing in the same vein, his vision of the enterprise reveals itself. 

Newton, forgive me. . . . The concepts which you created are guiding our 
thinking in physics even today, although we now know that they will have 


Ibid., 14, emphasis added. 

Physics Research, a Search for God •$• 17 

to be replaced by others farther removed from the sphere of immediate 
experience, if we aim at a profounder understanding of relationships. (14) 

He expresses the deep consolation he experiences from this search for 
universal principles. "It is a wonderful feeling to recognize the unifying 
features of a complex of phenomena which present themselves as quite 
unconnected in the direct experience of the senses" (57). 

Einstein's description of his experience of discovery in physics is 
strikingly like that of St. Ignatius describing his vision of creation by the 
river Cardoner and his response to that vision. 

While he was seated there, the eyes of his understanding began to be 
opened; not that he saw any vision, but he understood and learned many 
things, both spiritual matters and matters of faith and of scholarship and 
this with so great an enlightenment that everything seemed new to him. 

The details that he understood then, though there were many, cannot 
be stated, but only that he experienced a great clarity in his understanding. 36 

So, what do we have? We have Einstein driven by a desire to see 
ever more deeply into the mystery of the structure of the universe, proceed- 
ing by reflection and intuition to unveil the universal principles underlying 
phenomena, seeking simplicity beneath the complexity, and experiencing 
deep excitement and joy when those principles revealed themselves. And we 
have Ignatius seeking to "find God in all things." Ignatius speaks of "consola- 
tion" as a guiding experience in his search; Einstein speaks of "deep excite- 
ment and joy" in his search. Ignatius's vision at the Cardoner was decisive in 
his life and led him on a service of the Church and mankind that was to last 
until the end of his days. Einstein's life exhibits a like lifelong service to 
science with a notable dedication to mankind, a deep commitment to 
society, to peace and justice. 37 

• Bohr 

Bohr's interest in physics was sparked by his father, Christian Bohr, 
also a scientist. Christian Bohr's description of the role of science in his life 
is probably a good description also for Niels, who was so strongly influenced 
by his father. 

When I speak of that period of my earliest childhood which I can clearly 
recollect myself, then like the whole of my later life it was characterized to 
the highest degree by one single gift, if I may call it such, which goes back 

^Pilgrim's Testament, 42f. 

37 Albert Einstein, Out of My Later Years (New York: Wings Books, 1993). 

18 * Timothy E. Toohig, SJ. 


as far as I can remember, and which was never out of my mind for a single 
week, I dare say hardly a single day . . . the love of natural science. ... it 
still dominates my life. 38 

It was Bohr who conceived the familiar picture of the atom as a nucleus 
surrounded by whirling electrons. Pais summarizes Bohr's achievements in 1913. 

The very existence of line (and band) spectra suggests, he noted, that 
electrons move in discrete stationary orbits inside atoms and molecules. 
Spectra (including X-ray spectra) arise because of quantum jumps between 
these states. (It would take until the 1980s before such individual jumps 
were directly observed.) The quantitative confirmation of these ideas by his 
treatment of hydrogen and ionized helium mark [sic] a turning point in the 
physics of the twentieth century and the high point in Bohr's creative 
career. The insistence on the role of the outermost ring of electrons as the 
seat of most chemical properties of the elements, in particular their va- 
lences, constitutes the first step toward quantum chemistry. ... he may be 
considered the father of the atom. (152) 

Bohr would go on to play a significant role in nuclear physics, 
including the liquid-drop model, which provided the basis for understanding 

fission. The sharp distinction between 
— — — — — — ^— ^^ atomic/molecular and nuclear physics be- 
gins with his realization that the /3-rays, 
From my own life I would very-high-energy electrons observed in ra- 
describe what the physi- dioactive decay, must emanate from the 

cist experiences, what mo- nucleus, and are not due to the electrons 

tivates and characterizes orbiting the nucleus whose transitions give 

this search, as an experi- rise to the visible spectrum. 

ence of deep interior joy When we look at Bohr's method 

along with a sense of free- of doing physics, we see that it is very 

dom and responsibility for different from Einstein's. Bohr's method 

that freedom. There is an was qualitative, imaginative, done on a 

experience of openness to public stage, as it were, in the famous in- 

limitless possibility, oftran- stitute at Copenhagen that he founded and 

scendence ran ' however, they are alike in their intu- 

itive approach to physical problems. Prob- 
^ _ _^^^_^^_ ably the outstanding example of this leap 

of intuition in Bohr's case is his model of 
the atom, which set the stage for the quantum theory. 

Rutherford had demonstrated that the atom consisted of a positively 
charged nucleus, where essentially all of the mass of the atom was concen- 

38 Pais, Me/5 Bohr's Times, 98. 

Physics Research , a Search for God *k 19 

trated, surrounded by a cloud of negatively charged electrons balancing the 
charge of the nucleus. According to classical physics, electrons moving in a 
circle would lose energy by radiating electromagnetic energy. As they lost 
energy, they should rapidly spiral in, drawn by the positive charge of the 
nucleus. Within a fraction of a second, they should be absorbed by the 
nucleus; the atom as revealed by Rutherford's experiments should not exist. 
Pais characterizes Bohr's solution to this conundrum of the stability of 
electron orbits in the hydrogen atom: "Bohr circumvented this disaster, by 
introducing one of the most audacious postulates ever seen in physics. He 
simply assumed that the electron does not spiral in, thereby contravening all 
knowledge about radiation up till then!" 39 

Another insight into Bohr's approach is supplied by Heisenberg, 
reporting on a breakthrough lecture series by Bohr: 

Each one of his carefully formulated sentences revealed a long chain of 
underlying thoughts, of philosophical reflections, hinted at but never fully 
expressed. I found this approach highly exciting; what he said seemed both 
new and not quite new at the same time. We could clearly sense that he 
had reached his results not so much by calculations and demonstrations as 
by intuition and inspiration and that he found it difficult to justify his 
findings before Gottingen's famous school of mathematics. (205) 

Kramers recalled about these lectures: "[T]he truth was that Bohr, with 
divine vision, had created and deepened a synthesis between spectroscopic 
and chemical results" (205). 

Like Einstein, Bohr exhibits a lifelong service of science with 
notable dedication to mankind. He was the driving force at the center of 
efforts to internationalize control of nuclear energy in order to eliminate the 
nuclear-arms race. 

Physics Unchained 

In the modern period, the pursuit of physics is freed from the 
theology (and atheology) that had burdened it from Newton and Descartes 
through Diderot and d'Holbach. Pursued for its own sake, it experiences 
itself as a legitimate, free-standing human endeavor. In the testimonies by 
and about Bohr and Einstein, we have insight into what drives that en- 
deavor. Bohr and Einstein are alike in being absorbed in the search for a 
deeper understanding of the very basic structures of the universe. Both 
proceed with a deep faith in the existence of an underlying simplicity in the 


Ibid., 147 (emphasis added). 

20 * Timothy E. Toohig, SJ. 

structure of matter. They are engaged with the physics community but are 
able to perceive the truly crucial questions and to move intuitively beyond 
conventional solutions to fundamentally new ways to approach solutions. 
They do this with a profound and serene confidence in their perceived 
visions. Both exhibit an orientation to an original, intuitive experience that 
is always present, that precedes and is more basic than any notion that they 
might arrive at by reflection or by persuasion. 

From my own life I would describe what the physicist experiences, 
what motivates and characterizes this search, as an experience of deep 
interior joy along with a sense of freedom and responsibility for that freedom. 
There is an experience of openness to limitless possibility, of transcendence. 

How can we understand this phenomenon of deep faith in an 
original, intuitive experience? Can this intuitive drive be related to other 
pursuits that involve a person's whole being? Can it point to an underlying 
spirituality? I have found it instructive in this regard to reflect on my 
experience in light of the theology of Karl Rahner, one of the outstanding 
theologians of our century. Rahner's theology is particularly attractive for a 
physicist in that Rahner, like the physicist, begins with data, the data of 
experience, and is careful not to reach beyond what can be justified by those 
data. His is an incarnational theology, a theology that treats of the world as 
real, as the locus of God's activity in our regard. 

In his Foundations of Christian Faith, Rahner examines the structure 
of knowledge and arrives at the relationship of the human person to God 
(20). The physicist in frontier research examines the physical world and 
arrives at knowledge of its ultimate structure. Are these two searches related? 
I believe they are. The notion of transcendence, which provides a starting 
point for Rahner's investigation, may also be the implicit motivation of the 
physicists' search. 

The Physicists' Deeper Quest 

What can we extract from the testimonials and experience of the 
physicists? How do physicists experience the process of discovery that is 
physics research? What does the historical progress of the field reveal? What 
do we learn from the testimonials of and about Einstein and Bohr and other 
outstanding practitioners of physics recounted above? There is an awareness 
of the limited nature of every tentative answer. Feynman expresses it thus: 
u [Y]ou have to leave the door to the unknown ajar." 40 Einstein speaks of 


Feynman, Meaning of It, 27. 

Physics Research, a Search for God •!• 21 

"something behind objects that lay deeply hidden." 41 Bohr struggled with 
what lay at the root of quantum mechanics. Einstein to his last breath 
pursued a unified theory of all the forces of nature, a synthesis that always 
remained just out of reach. Today the high-energy-physics community 
continues the struggle to construct a model of reality beyond the Standard 
Model, one that will include gravity and proceed from first principles 
without the Standard Model's need for experimentally determined constants. 

Arguably, this experience in physics of an awareness of an under- 
standing of reality that is always beyond our current understanding corre- 
sponds to what Karl Rahner calls "transcendental experience." "Transcenden- 
tal experience is the experience of transcendence, in which experience the 
structure of the subject and therefore also the ultimate structure of every 
conceivable object of knowl- 
edge are present together and "^ 
in identity." 42 But what rele- You have to leave the door to the 

vance would there be in unknown ajar. 

equating the experience of 

physicists, and indeed of the ~ ^ ^ — ~"— ■ ■" 
field of physics, with "tran- 

scendental experience"? From an analysis of "transcendental experience," 
Rahner concludes, "[T]here is present in this transcendental experience an 
unthematic and anonymous knowledge of God" (21). So the identification of 
the experience of the physicists with transcendental experience, if credible, 
would say that the experience of physicists and of the field of physics in 
advancing the understanding of matter is, albeit anonymously, an experience 
of God (57). 

How would one verify such identification? What, according to 
Rahner, are the identifying characteristics of this "transcendental experi- 
ence"? Rahner affirms that physics is a credible locus for such experience 
when he states that "every transcendental experience is mediated by a 
categorical encounter with concrete reality in our world" (52). But what 
elements should be present in the experience of the physicists, in the en- 
counter with concrete reality which is physics research, to make plausible an 
identification of their experience of discovery with Rahner's transcendental 

Rahner discerns four properties in transcendental experience: 
subjectivity, personhood, responsibility, and freedom (28). What is meant by 
the first of these, subjectivity, becomes clearer, according to Rahner, when 

41 Pais, "Subtle Is the Lord," 56. 
4 Rahner, Foundations, 20. 

22 * Timothy E. Toohig, SJ. 

we say that human persons are transcendent beings. What does that mean 
and is the statement consistent with the testimonies of the physicists? In a 
passage that resonates with Hawking's view, as we shall see below, Rahner 
describes what he means when he states that a human person is a transcen- 
dent being. 

[Man] can place everything in question. In his openness to everything and 
anything, whatever can come to expression can be at least a question for 
him. . . . Man experiences himself as infinite possibility because in practice 
and in theory he necessarily places every sought-after result in question. He 
always situates it in a broader horizon that looms before him in its vastness. (31) 

Let me compare that notion of transcendence with the experience of 
the physicists as described above, whether the searching of Galileo, Newton, 
and Maxwell in the classical period or of Einstein and Bohr in the later 
period. Stephen Hawking states that experience succinctly: "But physics and 
astronomy offered the hope of understanding where we came from and why 
we are here. I wanted to fathom the far depths of the universe. Maybe I 
have succeeded to a small extent, but there's still plenty I want to know." 4 
Or we look at Pais' comment on Einstein towards the end of his life of 

Physics remained at the center of Einstein's being in the final decade, during 
which, as I described earlier, he concentrated exclusively on unified field 
theory and on questions of principle regarding the quantum theory. His 
published work during that period includes eight papers on unified field 
theory, a contribution to Dialectica, written at the instigation of Pauli, in 
which he explained his views on quantum mechanics; and his necrology, as 
he called it, the important essay entitled Autobiographisches.^ 

All these works express a conviction that there is "something beyond," a 
comprehensive unification of all the forces of nature in the case of the 
unified-field theory, a deeper reality beyond the indeterminacy of Heisenberg 
in the case of quantum theory. 

How does this relate to subjectivity? Rahner continues thus: 

Insofar as man is a transcendent being, he is confronted by himself, is 
responsible for himself, and hence is person and subject. . . . Something finite 
can experience itself as finite only if, as this conscious subject, it comes 
from something else which is not itself. This something else is not just 

43 Stephen Hawking, Black Holes and Baby Universes (New York: Bantam Books, 
1994), 473. 

44 Pais, "Subtle Is the Lord," 473. 

Physics Research, a Search for God •!• 23 

another individual, but is the original unity that anticipates and is the fullness 
of every conceivable system and of every individual and distinct subject. 45 

In the examples cited, both Hawking and Einstein are confronted by the 
mystery of the universe stretching without limit before them. They also 
know themselves as distinct subjects within the universe that they strive to 
understand, manifesting the second of Rahner's characteristics of transcen- 
dence experience, namely, personhood. 

What of the other two characteristics, responsibility and freedom? 
Einstein provides a succinct illustration of these. There comes to mind his 
response to a student at the time he received a cable informing him that the 
bending of light by the sun was in agreement with his general relativistic 
prediction. The student asked what he would have said if there had been no 
confirmation. Einstein's reply is a classic expression of self-confidence, that 
is, of a free spirit taking responsibility for one's gifts: "Then I would have to 
pity the dear Lord. The theory is correct anyway." 46 

Where does this notion of transcendence lead, this notion of a 
primordial experience that beckons us limitlessly in freedom? How does it 
relate to what is done in physics? 

This self-communication to the human person as a free being who exists 
with the possibility of an absolute "yes" or "no" to God can be present, or 
can be understood, in two different ways. It can be understood as the 
antecedent situation of an offer and a call to a person's freedom on the one 
hand and, on the other hand, in the once again two-fold manner of the 
response to this offer of God's self-communication as a permanent existential 
of man. That is, this self-communication can be present as an acceptance or 
a rejection of God's self-communication by man's freedom. This transcen- 
dentality is beyond words. 47 

Is this what goes on in physics? Is the ever deeper personal penetra- 
tion into the mystery of creation that we see in Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, 
Bohr, and more recent contributors like Hawking or Weinberg a manifesta- 
tion of the self-communication of God? If so, why are they not all Chris- 
tians? Rahner has this to say: "In principle, the original experience of God 
even in his self-communication can be so universal, so unthematic and so 
'unreligious' that it takes place, unnamed but really, wherever we are living 
out our existence" (131). He goes on to make an observation that is particu- 
larly relevant to this examination of the notion of physics as spirituality. 

Rahner, Foundations, 34 (emphasis added). 

46 Pais, "Subtle Is the Lord," 30. 

47 Rahner, Foundations, 126. 

24 * Timothy E. Toohig, S J. 

Even if by simple introspection, and by making his original, transcendental 
experiences thematic, a person could not individually discover such a 
transcendental experience of God's self-communication in grace, or could 
not express it by himself with unambiguous certainty, nevertheless, if this 
theological and dogmatic interpretation of his transcendental experience is 
offered to him by the history of revelation and by Christianity, he can 
recognize his own experience in it. (131) 


[T]his offer of the absolutely incomprehensible, nameless and infinite God 
to man's freedom can be accepted in man's concrete and unthematic 
actualization of existence as his justification and salvation. This is true even 
when in his historical conditioning this person interprets his existence, without 
fault, in a different way or in a non-Christian way, perhaps even in an atheistic 
way. For wherever a person accepts his existence ultimately and uncondi- 
tionally ... he is accepting God. He is accepting not a mere God of nature, 
nor the mere nature of spirit; but rather he is accepting the God who gives 
himself in all of his incomprehensibility in the center and depths of his 
existence. (401, emphasis added) 

The Christian Vision 

Christianity would say that this experience of transcendence is an 
experience of a free, unmerited, and forgiving self-communication of God. 
This self-communication of God as personal and absolute mystery to a 
human person as a being of transcendence signifies from the outset a com- 
munication to that person as a spiritual and personal being. "God's self- 
communication" means that what is communicated is really God in his own 
being, and in this way it is a communication for the sake of knowing and 
possessing God in immediate vision and love. For the Catholic and Christian 
this is a moment of grace. And in this grace there is included a moment of 
revelation in the proper, although transcendental, sense. 

A physicist dedicates his whole life to unraveling the mysteries of 
the universe, and trusts his insights even when they involve fundamental 
changes in the accepted concepts governing that universe, for example, the 
concept of relativity. If this is accepting God, as Rahner asserts, then, all 
anonymously, physics research is a search for God. "[F]or this reason a 
Christian stands beyond all of the pluralistic confusion and hopes that in this 
beyond an ultimate 'y es> is hidden in everyone who is of good will" (401). 

Physics Research, a Search for God •!• 25 

So, Where Does It Lead Me? 

This essay began as a personal search for understanding. It is fair to 
ask, "What impact has this understanding had on my life, on my spiritual- 
ity?" The response to this is multifaceted. First, it removes the vocational 
ambiguity implied by the term "hyphenated priest," a source of such anxiety 
in the sixties and seventies. While I have never experienced this ambiguity in 
my own life, it is helpful to have an articulated theological basis for the 
unity of my vocation as a priest who is a physicist. Secondly, it identifies 
physics research, the lifelong work of my colleagues and me, as praise of 
God— at the core of our reason for existence: "to praise, reverence, and serve 
God, and thus enter into eternal life." This elucidation is deeply satisfying. It 
adds a deeper, spiritual dimension to the collegiality experienced in the 
physics-research community. Beyond every stripe of belief and unbelief, the 
bond that we experience is, at depth, a brotherhood and sisterhood in the 
Lord. There is a wonderful wholeness and a deep spiritual joy from this 

A somewhat different question is how this perceived unity of the 
physicist's quest and the search for God flows into my spiritual life, my 
explicit relationship with God. The perceived unity that allows me to find 
the mystery of God in physics research leads me to approach the mystery of 
redemption with the same rigor and deep reverence that characterize the 
physics search. Two words 
that characterize the physics 

search are honesty and au- This understanding removes the voca- 
thenticity: an unrelenting tional ambiguity implied by the term 
honesty in confronting data, "hyphenated priest" and identifies 

even when they might contra- physic$ researchy the Uf e l ong wor k f 

diet my previous experience 7 i » • r 

7 v . ; my colleagues and me, as praise of 

and expectations, and an au- J~, , , r r 

, , God— at the core of our reason tor 

tnenticity, an integrity that J . J 

acknowledges the mystery, existence. 

the tentative quality of both _ ^ — __^ — __ 
our knowledge and our igno- 
rance. The physicist is able to say in all simplicity, "I don't know," or, "I 
don't understand." The not knowing or not understanding becomes an 
opening to the mystery, a spur and a locus for further searching. And this 
honesty and authenticity color his whole life, not just his physics. So, for 
myself, to the extent that I am authentically a physicist, these characteristics 
also color my spiritual quest. 

Where does this lead? By internalizing Rahner's theology as ex- 
pressed coherently in his Foundations, I achieve a coherent, explicit basis for 

26 * Timothy E. Toohig, SJ. 

my spirituality (21). In the first instance, in prayer and especially in the 
Eucharist, the prayer and the celebration must be consistent with the reality 
I profess — that it is an encounter with the living God, with a God who is a 
person. That encounter becomes an experience, a dialogue with the God 
who is present. To celebrate the Eucharist is to be conscious of being 
present to and addressing the Father, of gathering the congregation into that 
prayer and with them offering to the Father the offering of the Son. In the 
celebration I experience a deep sense of presence to the congregation— of a 
common presence to the Father and of the Father present to us, and an 
experience of the love of the Son for the Father and his offering in love for 
me and for each member of the congregation. A physicist takes seriously and 
wrestles with the reality of the world of matter. I find that the same serious- 
ness and engagement flow into the reality of the world of spirit. 

In a similar way, this openness to God's presence and the sense of 
mystery leads to a renewed approach to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Igna- 
tius. That questing which characterizes my life as a physicist, a hunger for 
an ever deeper penetration of the mystery without doubting the present 
reality, carries over into the experience of the Christian mystery. Rather 
than the Spiritual Exercises being a pondering of the great truths of salvation 
history, I have found them to be an experience of being caught up with 
Christ in his great work of salvation. I have experienced redemption at an 
ever deeper level as a reality in my life. And I have found myself loving 
with the heart of Christ and longing for the redemption, for wholeness and 
eternal life with the Lord for all my brothers and sisters. "All things were 
created through him, and without him nothing has come to be." 




With regard to your comment on 
Fr. Dupuis's book Toward A Christian 
Theology of Religious Pluralism, which 
appeared in the recent issue of STUDIES 
would like to be one of those who will 
write you to express a bit of their opin- 

I happen to be one who has read 
Fr. Dupuis's book. I am very happy 
about Fr. Dupuis's positive attitude to- 
wards other world religions in his book. 
But I also have an impression that some 
of Fr. Dupuis's views may need to be 
clarified lest they become misleading. I 
can only give one or two examples. Fr. 
Dupuis said that Jesus is still "constitu- 
tive" for universal salvation after he 
praised extremely highly other world 
religions. I think he may need to explain 
more fully why Jesus is still 
"constitutive" in such a case. Regarding 
the place of the Church in salvation, 
Vatican II taught that "whosoever, 
knowing that the Catholic Church was 
made necessary by God through Jesus 
Christ, would refuse to enter her or to 
remain in her could not be saved" {Ad 
gentes, no. 7). Dupuis seems to give me 
an impression that this is not so: as long 
as one belongs to a religion, [he seems 
to say,] one has no need to enter the 
Catholic Church, no matter what. 

Fr. Dupuis has said many praise- 
worthy things in his book and has ac- 
complished a lot for the Church in his 
career. He is not being investigated for 
these, but for those areas that may cause 
serious problems. A person might be 
right most of the time, but this does not 
mean that he or she is right all the time. 
In terms of the "secretive" nature of the 

investigation process, I think we could 
give the Church authority the benefit of 
the doubt, that the "secretiveness" is 
ultimately beneficial to Fr. Dupuis and 
the Church. Many good things are done 
in "secret." 

In view of the many recent writings 
by Christian authors on world religions 
that tend to play down the divinity and 
significance of Christ and therefore the 
great harm done to the Christian faith, 
one can understand some "chill wind of 
suspicion" from Rome. As Jesuits, we 
should not sensationalize this incident of 
Fr. Dupuis but pray that he can come 
out clean from the investigation and that 
the Church's faith remains intact. 

God bless you in your good work! 


Augustine Tsang, S.J. 

Faber House 
Cambridge, Mass. 02138 


I am a novice of the New Orleans 
Province. I was reading your FYI section 
at the beginning of the most recent 
STUDIES, and what you wrote struck a 
common chord with my sentiments, so I 
thought I would drop you a line as re- 
quested and let you know what they 
are. As first-year novices, we have read 
parts of the documents of GC 34 and I 
do recall being left with the impression 
that we are called to inter-religious dia- 
logue and to work towards ecumenism. 
As we were reading this, the criticisms 
of Tony DeMello were just coming out. 
During our group discussion I com- 
mented that it is a shame that what we 
are called to do as Jesuits will most like- 
ly result in our being censored. In other 



Letters to the Editor 


words, if we do what GC 34 and the 
Society asks of us, we will be criticized. 
I appreciated your comments and en- 
courage you and others to continue 
writing despite the risks. After all, we 
are called to be companions of Christ 
and to carry the cross associated with it. 

Lenten blessings, 

Anthony Borrow, N.S.J. 

St. Charles College [Novitiate] 
Grand Couteau, LA 70541-1003 


You asked whether "present-day 
Jesuits still read books with any fre- 
quency." Here are the titles of three I 
have read recently, that is, in the past 
year. They are The Life of Thomas More 
by Peter Ackroyd, The Stripping of the 
Altars by Eamon Duffy, and Cranmer 
by an author whose name I forget. 
There were others, but I remember these 
three the best. Summer supply work 
provides the leisure once available in the 
juniorate to devour both French and 
English authors. 

Michael Marchlewski, S.J. 

DeSmet Jesuit High School 
St. Louis, MO 63141-7559 

Past Issues: Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits 
(For prices, see inside back cover.) 

1/1 Sheets, Profile of the Contemporary Jesuit (Sept. 1969) 

1/2 Ganss, Authentic Spiritual Exercises: History and Terminology (Nov. 1969) 

2/1 Burke, Institution and Person (Feb. 1970) 

2/2 Futrell, Ignatian Discernment (Apr. 1970) 

2/3 Lonergan, Response of the Jesuit as Priest and Apostle (Sept. 1970) 

3/1 Wright, Grace of Our Founder and the Grace of Our Vocation (Feb. 1971) 

3/2 O'Flaherty, Some Reflections on Jesuit Commitment (Apr. 1971) 

3/4 Toner, A Method for Communal Discernment of God's Will (Sept. 1971) 

3/5 Sheets, Toward a Theology of the Religious Life (Nov. 1971) 

4/2 Two Discussions: I. Spiritual Direction, II. Leadership and Authority (Mar. 1972) 

4/3 Orsy, Some Questions about the Purpose and Scope of the General Congregation (June 1972) 

4/4 Ganss, Wright, O'Malley, O'Donovan, Dulles, On Continuity and Change: A Symposium 
(Oct. 1972) 

5/1-2 O'Flaherty, Renewal: Call and Response (Jan.-Mar. 1973) 

5/3 Arrupe, McNaspy, The Place of Art in Jesuit Life (Apr. 1973) 

5/4 Haughey, The Pentecostal Thing and Jesuits (June 1973) 

5/5 Orsy, Toward a Theological Evaluation of Communal Discernment (Oct. 1973) 

6/3 Knight, Joy and Judgment in Religious Obedience (Apr. 1974) 

7/1 Wright, Ganss, Orsy, On Thinking with the Church Today (Jan. 1975) 

7/2 Ganss, Christian Life Communities from the Sodalities (Mar. 1975) 

7/3 Connolly, Contemporary Spiritual Direction: Scope and Principles (June 1975) 

7/5 Buckley, The Confirmation of a Promise; Padberg, Continuity and Change in General 

Congregation XXXII (Nov. 1975) 

8/1 O'Neill, Acatamiento: Ignatian Reverence (Jan. 1976) 

8/2-3 De la Costa, Sheridan, and others, On Becoming Poor: A Symposium on Evangelical Poverty 
(Mar.-May 1976) 

8/4 Faricy, Jesuit Community: Community of Prayer (Oct. 1976) 

9/1-2 Becker, Changes in U.S. Jesuit Membership, 1958-75; Others, Reactions and Explanations 
(Jan.-Mar. 1977) 

9/4 Connolly, Land, Jesuit Spiritualities and the Struggle for Social Justice (Sept. 1977). 

9/5 Gill, A Jesuit's Account of Conscience (Nov. 1977) 

10/1 Kammer, "Burn-Out"— Dilemma for the Jesuit Social Activist (Jan. 1978) 

10/4 Harvanek, Status of Obedience in the Society of Jesus; Others, Reactions to Connolly-Land 

(Sept. 1978) 

11/1 Clancy, Feeling Bad about Feeling Good (Jan. 1979) 

11/2 Maruca, Our Personal Witness as Power to Evangelize Culture (Mar. 1979) 

11/3 Klein, American Jesuits and the Liturgy (May 1979) 

11/5 Conwell, The Kamikaze Factor: Choosing Jesuit Ministries (Nov. 1979) 

12/2 Henriot, Appleyard, Klein, Living Together in Mission: A Symposium on Small Apostolic 

Communities (Mar. 1980) 

12/3 Conwell, Living and Dying in the Society of Jesus (May 1980) 

12/4-5 Schineller, Newer Approaches to Christology and Their Use in the Spiritual Exercises (Sept. -Nov. 

13/1 Peter, Alcoholism in Jesuit Life (Jan. 1981) 

13/3 Ganss, Towards Understanding the Jesuit Brothers' Vocation (May 1981) 

13/4 Reites, St. Ignatius of Loyola and the Jews (Sept. 1981) 

14/1 O'Malley, The Jesuits, St. Ignatius, and the Counter Reformation (Jan. 1982) 

14/2 Dulles, St. Ignatius and Jesuit Theological Tradition (Mar. 1982) 

14/4 Gray, An Experience in Ignatian Government (Sept. 1982) 

14/5 Ivern, The Future of Faith and Justice: Review of Decree Four (Nov. 1982) 

15/1 O'Malley, The Fourth Vow in Its Ignatian Context (Jan. 1983) 

15/2 Sullivan and Faricy, On Making the Spiritual Exercises for Renewal of Jesuit Charisms (Mar. 


15/3-4 Padberg, The Society True to Itself: A Brief History of the 32nd General Congregation of the 

Society of Jesus (May-Sept. 1983) 

15/5-16/1 Tetlow, Jesuits' Mission in Higher Education (Nov. 1983-Jan. 1984) 

16/2 O'Malley, To Travel to Any Part of the World: Jeronimo Nadal and the Jesuit Vocation (Mar. 


16/3 O'Hanlon, Integration of Christian Practices: A Western Christian Looks East (May 1984) 

16/4 Carlson, "A Faith Lived Out of Doors": Ongoing Formation (Sept. 1984) 

16/5 Kinerk, Eliciting Great Desires: Their Place in the Spirituality of the Society of Jesus (Nov. 1984) 

17/1 Spohn, St. Paul on Apostolic Celibacy and the Body of Christ (Jan. 1985) 

17/2 Daley, "In Ten Thousand Places": Christian Universality and the Jesuit Mission (Mar. 1985) 

17/3 Tetlow, Dialogue on the Sexual Maturing of Celibates (May 1985) 

17/4 Spohn, Coleman, Clarke, Henriot, Jesuits and Peacemaking (Sept. 1985) 

17/5 Kinerk, When Jesuits Pray: A Perspective on the Prayer of Apostolic Persons (Nov. 1985) 

18/1 Gelpi, The Converting Jesuit (Jan. 1986). 

18/2 Beirne, Compass and Catalyst: The Ministry of Administration. (Mar. 1986) 

18/3 McCormick, Bishops as Teachers and Jesuits as Listeners (May 1986) 

18/5 Tetlow, The Transformation of Jesuit Poverty (Nov. 1986). 

19/1 Staudenmaier, United States Technology and Adult Commitment (Jan. 1987) 

19/2 Appleyard, Languages We Use: Talking about Religious Experience (Mar. 1987) 

19/5 Endean, Who Do You Say Ignatius Is? Jesuit Fundamentalism and Beyond (Nov. 1987) 

20/1 Brackley, Downward Mobility: Social Implications of St. Ignatius's Two Standards (Jan. 1988) 

20/2 Padberg, How We Live Where We Live (Mar. 1988) 

20/3 Hayes, Padberg, Staudenmaier, Symbols, Devotions, and Jesuits (May 1988) 

20/4 McGovern, Jesuit Education and Jesuit Spirituality (Sept. 1988) 

20/5 Barry, Jesuit Formation Today: An Invitation to Dialogue and Involvement (Nov. 1988) 

21/1 Wilson, Where Do We Belong? United States Jesuits and Their Memberships Qan. 1989) 

21/2 Demoustier, Calvez, et al., The Disturbing Subject: The Option for the Poor (Mar. 1989) 

21/3 Soukup, Jesuit Response to the Communication Revolution (May 1989) 

22/1 Carroll, The Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life Qan. 1990) 

22/2 Bracken, Jesuit Spirituality from a Process Prospective (March 1990) 

22/3 Shepherd, Fire for a Weekend: An Experience of the Exercises (May 1990) 

22/4 O'Sullivan, Trust Your Feelings, but Use Your Head (Sept. 1990) 

22/5 Coleman,/! Company of Critics: Jesuits and the Intellectual Life (Nov. 1990) 

23/1 Houdek, The Road Too Often Traveled (Jan. 1991) 

23/2 DiGiacomo, Ministering to the Young (March 1991) 

23/3 Begheyn and Bogart, A Bibliography on St. Ignatius's Spiritual Exercises (May 1991) 

23/4 Shelton, Reflections on the Mental Health of Jesuits (Sept. 1991) 

23/5 Toolan, "Nature Is a Heraclitean Fire" (Nov. 1991) 

24/1 Houdek, Jesuit Prayer and Jesuit Ministry: Context and Possibilities (Jan. 1992) 

24/2 Smolich, Testing the Water: Jesuits Accompanying the Poor (March 1992) 

24/3 Hassel, Jesus Christ Changing Yesterday, Today, and Forever (May 1992) 

24/4 Shelton, Toward Healthy Jesuit Community Living (Sept. 1992) 

24/5 Cook, Jesus' Parables and the Faith That Does Justice (Nov. 1992) 

25/2 Donahue, What Does the Lord Require? (March 1993)-ONCE AGAIN AVAILABLE 

25/3 Padberg, Ignatius, the Popes, and Realistic Reverence (May 1993) 

25/4 Stahel, Toward General Congregation 34 (Sept. 1993) 

25/5 Baldovin, Christian Liturgy: An Annotated Bibliography (Nov. 1993) 

26/1 Tetlow, The Most Postmodern Prayer (Jan. 1994) 

26/2 Murphy, The Many Ways of Justice (March 1994) 

26/3 Staudenmaier, To Fall in Love with the World (May 1994) 

26/4 Foley, Stepping into the River (Sept. 1994) 

26/5 Landy, Myths That Shape Us (Nov. 1994) 

27/1 Daley, "To Be More like Christ" (Jan. 1995) 

27/2 Schmidt, Portraits and Landscapes (March 1995) 

27/3 Stockhausen, I'd Love to, but I Don't Have the Time (May 1995) 

27/4 Anderson, Jesuits in Jail, Ignatius to the Present (Sept. 1995) 

27/5 Shelton, Friendship in Jesuit Life (Nov. 1995) 

28/1 Begheyn, Bibliography on the History of the Jesuits (Jan. 1996) 

28/2 Veale, Saint Ignatius Speaks about "Ignatian Prayer" (March 1996) 

28/3 Clooney, In Ten Thousand Places, in Every Blade of Grass (May 1996) 

28/4 Starkloff, "As Different As Night and Day" (Sept. 1996) 

28/5 Beckett, Listening to Our History (Nov. 1996) 

29/1 Hamm, Preaching Biblical Justice (Jan. 1997) 

29/2 Padberg, The Three Forgotten Founders (March 1997) 

29/3 Byrne, Jesuits and Parish Ministry (May 1997) 

29/4 Keenan, Are Informationes Ethical? (Sept. 1997) 

29/5 Ferlita, The Road to Bethlehem-Is It Level or Winding? (Nov. 1997) 

30/1 Shore, The Vita Christi of Ludolph of Saxony and Its Influence on the Spiritual Exercises of 

Ignatius of Loyola (Jan. 1998) 

30/2 Starkloff, "I'm No Theologian, but . . . (or So . . . )?" (March 1998) 

30/3 Torrens, The Word That Clamors (May 1998) 

30/4 Petrik, "Being Sent" (Sept. 1998) 

30/5 Jackson, "One and the Same Vocation" (Sept. 1998) 

31/1 Clifford, Scripture and the Exercises (Jan. 1999) 

31/2 Toohig, Physics Research, a Search for God (March 1999) 

Antonio M. de Aldama, SJ. 

An Introductory 

Commentary on the 


An historical, documentary, interpretative, 

and spiritual understanding of the Jesuit 


Cloth: ISBN 0-912422-92-0 ♦ $22.95 

Paper: ISBN 0-912422-93-9 ♦ $16.95 

Antonio M. de Aldama, SJ. 
Jesuit Religious Life 

Part Six of the Jesuit Constitutions, on the 
distinctive character of Jesuit religious life. 
Paper: ISBN 1-880810-13-1 ♦ $14.95 

Pedro Arrupe, SJ. 
In Him Alone Is Our Hope 

The chief texts on the Heart of Christ that 
Fr. Arrupe wrote during his generalate. 
Paper: ISBN 0-912422-87-4 ♦ $6.00 

Jean-Yves Calvez, SJ. 
Faith and Justice 

The social dimension of evangelization, 
and an examination of Jesuit Congregation 
32's decree on faith and justice. 
Paper: ISBN 0-912422-49-1 ♦ $17.95 

Thomas H. Clancy, SJ. 

The Conversational 

Word of God 

A commentary on St. Ignatius's doctrine 
concerning spiritual conversation, using 
four early Jesuit texts. 
Cloth: ISBN 0-912422-33-5 ♦ $5.00 
Paper: ISBN 0-912422-34-3 ♦ $2.50 

Antonio M. de Aldama, SJ. 
The Formula of the Institute 

The sources, development, and meaning of 
this foundational Jesuit document. 

Cloth: ISBN 0-912422-55-6 ♦ $16.95 
Paper: ISBN 0-912422-56-4 ♦ $9.95 

Pedro Arrupe, SJ. 
One Jesuit's Spiritual Journey 

Autobiographical details of the late Jesuit 
general's life and work both before and 
during his generalate. 

Cloth: ISBN 0-912422-69-6 ♦ $10.00 
Paper: ISBN 0-912422-68-8 ♦ $8.00 

William V. Bangert, SJ. 

A History of the 

Society of Jesus 

The most comprehensive and up-to-date 
single-volume history of the Society of 
Jesus that is available today. 

Cloth: ISBN 0-912422-73-4 ♦ $21.00 

Philip Caraman, SJ. 

A Study in Friendship: 

Saint Robert Southwell 

and Henry Garnet 

The friendship that existed between 
English Jesuits Southwell and Garnet from 
1586 to Southwell's martyrdom, as this 
appears in their correspondence. 

Paper: ISBN 1-880810-15-8 ♦ $14.95 

TEL 314-977-7257 

The Institute of Jesuit Sources 

FAX 314-977-7263 

e-mail IJS@SLU.EDU 


The Spiritual Writings of Pierre Favre 

The Memoriale and Selected Letters and Instructions 

This is a long-awaited first full English translation from 
the definitive critical edition of Favre's works in the 
Monumenta Historica Societatis Jesu. 

A spiritual autobiography is a record of God's dealings 
with an individual and the person's response to God. Pierre 
Favre's Memoriale is fully in that tradition. 

Favre, the person whom Ignatius of Loyola thought the 
best director of the Spiritual Exercises, left as a legacy both a 
spiritual autobiography/diary traditionally called the Memoriale 
and a series of letters and instructions. 

The twenty-seven selected letters and instructions range 
across time, space and recipients, in time from 1540 to 1546, in 
space from almost one end of Western Europe to the other. 
The recipients include, among many others, Ignatius Loyola in 
Rome and Francis Xavier in India, King John III of Portugal 
and a confraternity of laypersons, and a Carthusian prior in 
Cologne and a group setting out on a pilgrimage. 

The introduction places Favre's life and work in its 
historical setting, discusses the characteristics of spiritual 
autobiography, deals with the discernment of spirits in Favre's 
work, describes the several versions of the text of the 
Memoriale^ puts in context the letters and instructions included 
in this volume, and tells what happened to the memory of and 
devotion to Favre after his death. 

xvi + 437 pp. Glossary, Indexes 
Hardcover: ISBN 1-880810-25-5 / $57.95 plus postage 
Paperback: ISBN 1-880810-26-3 / $39.95 plus postage 

The Institute of Jesuit Sources 
3700 W. Pine Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63108 
Telephone 314-977-7257 / FAX 314-977-7263 

o Share in the Life of Christ: Experiencing God in 
Everyday Life, by Laurence L. Gooley, S.J., treats 
extensively of the experience of prayer, covering such 
topics as the examen of consciousness, Ignatian 
contemplation, images of God, review and repetition 
of prayer, silence, stages of growth in prayer, etc. Additionally, Fr. 
Gooley speaks of the following of Christ, and under this rubric 
treats such items as the preferential option for the poor, the 
experience of God's unconditional love, spiritual freedom, and 
passionate union with Christ. While retaining its original value as 
a manual for National Christian Life Communities, the book will be 
of interest and assistance to others as well in their pursuit of 
spiritual growth and effective development in the service of God. 

Paper: ISBN 1-880810-27-1 ♦ $19.95 
Series IV, n. 18 ♦ 1997 ♦ PP. xviii + 124 

ibet: The Jesuit Century (Philip Caraman, S.J.), tells 
of the extraordinary experiences of a group of 
seventeenth-century priests and brothers of the 
Society of Jesus. They discovered as Westerners and 
entered in friendship the hitherto -unknown Tibet. 
They established the identity of the fabled land of Cathay and 
China. They were able to describe in realistic detail the perils of 
any attempt at a safe land journey from Europe to the Far East. In 
so doing, neither the Khyber Pass, the Hindu Kush, the Pamires, the 
Himalayas, nor the Gobi Desert could daunt them in a chapter of 
history and heroism that deserves to be widely known. 

Paper: ISBN 1-880810-29-8 ♦ $14.95 
Series IV, n. 20 ♦ 1997 ♦ PP. x + 152 

ur Way of Proceeding contains carefully selected key 
passages from the Jesuit Constitutions and their 
complementary norms, as these have been prepared 
by the Jesuit 34th General Congregation in 1995, in 
a form suitable for reflection, meditation, and 
discussion. The author, William A. Barry, S.J., has long experience 
as a psychologist, spiritual director, counselor, and provincial 
superior; he speaks with authority as he offers brief insights and 
commentaries on the texts he cites. Anyone interested in current 
developments in Jesuit life and activity will find this a thought- 
provoking and helpful volume. 

Paper: ISBN 1-880810-30-1 ♦ $12.95 
Series IV, n. 19 ♦ 1997 ♦ PP. viii + 190 



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